30 Days Wild – Day 6 to 10 – for diverse communities

This month is 30 Days Wild 2016, an initiative of The Wildlife Trusts who say “This June, can you do something wild each day for a month?”

What they are saying is that nature is everywhere, so by looking for it through your normal day, you should start to notice it and enjoy it more.

They say that they don’t want you to give anything up for June, just give yourself time in the wild with your family, to reconnect with nature. 26,000 people have already signed up, but it would be great if you signed up to taking part at http://bit.ly/1WZnYKW.

So, for my 30 Days Wild, I have decided to connect with nature each day in a different way, that could feel relevant to Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities or People of Colour (POC) in the USA and be practical if you live in an inner city area. Things that BAME people can identify with and so might find it easier to try.  Not just young people, but BAME people of all ages.<

For day six, I ate the first part of my dinner outside in the garden.  Today is the first of the month of Ramadan for Muslims.  It was a hard day for me and I was thirsty, hungry and exhausted. I thought that if I broke my fast outside, alone, I would feel rejuvenated and happier in myself.  That really did work.

If you don’t have a garden or green space nearby, just go outside with water in a bottle and dates in your hand and as you break your fast, remember how beautiful our world is.  If you are not Muslim, take a snack and drink outdoors and enjoy the taste with your surroundings.

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

For day seven, I thought it would be good to do a little gardening. If you feel like it, fill a medium sized container with compost, plant seeds for veg you like and make sure you water regularly.  If you live in flats, put the container on your balcony or have something small for an inside window ledge.
As easy option is as follows:

My niece Laila holding an old fruit container
My niece Laila holding an old fruit container
My niece Laila holding an old fruit container
My niece Laila putting an absorbent material into the container, to cover the holes
My niece Laila putting an absorbent material into the container, to cover the holes
My niece Laila with some cardboard
My niece Laila using cardboard to put ordinary soil into the container
My niece Laila using cardboard to put ordinary soil into the container
My niece Laila using cardboard to put ordinary soil into the container
Laila using cloves in water to soak but try whole coriander soaked and split
Laila planting cloves (not sure if they will grow but that is part of the excitement)

Or, if you or someone in your family have a garden, help out and involve your children and elder family members.  Elder family member may be particularly interested in gardening and many have allotments.  My Nanu (gran) has always grown vegetables and herbs.  She used to supply the family restaurant with coriander in the 70’s and 80’s.  Now she is disabled, but still pays someone to do the gardening for her, coming out in her wheelchair to watch it all grow.

Child helping his grandfather in the garden
Child in her grandparents’ garden

For day eight, go outside into your garden, the nearest place you can sit outside or a local park. Then sit quietly and practise mindfulness (focusing with all your senses on what is around you), meditate, use worry beads or if you have faith, maybe some prayer or rosary beads.  As it’s the month of Ramadan, I prayed using prayer beads (called tasbih). Send me photos of you and I’d love to add them to this blog post.

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig practising mindfulness

On day nine, I went outside into my garden.  It would be great if you could go out to a local park or green space with your friends or family. I went today, but you can go at the weekend.  Play cricket or rounders or just mess about. Enjoy hearing the laughter of the people you are with especially any children.  Remember what that joy sounds like and feels like.  Make sure you don’t leave it so long before doing it again.

Young Birder Young Birder Mya-Rose Craig

For day ten, I took photos of my niece Laila enjoying and feeling the rain.  At first, she complained (I know I’m a mean aunt, but then she really liked the rebellion of it all).

My Mum has told me about visiting Bangladesh for the first time over the summer of 1977 when she had her 8th birthday.  I have been there quite a few times but never in the heat of the summer.

My Mum told me that it was really hot and humid and that many relatives didn’t have electricity and so no fans.  Lots of houses had corrugated roofs, patched up after the civil war. It was unbearably hot, especially as she had never left the UK before.

It was the monsoon season and so in between the days of sweltering heat, there would be sudden thunderstorms, when the warm rain was so heavy the roads would get flooded immediately.

As soon as the rain started, all the children, rich and poor would run outside to feel the rain and enjoy the coolness as it soaked them through.

So part of today’s 30 Days Wild, is to tell that story and connect my generation with those who live back “home”.

My niece in the summer downpour

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